Before and After Science Before Bed
Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 01:41PM
Zach Buscher in classic albums, electronic, influence, process

Last night between the hours of midnight and two I wrote a poem under the working title of "Galactorrhea."

Galactorrhea: Excessive or inappropriate production of milk.

I'm not sure where I came across this word, but its definition (thanks to the New Oxford American Dictionary that comes standard with Macs), specifically the reference to a production of milk being somehow
"inappropriate," really intrigues me.

The poem itself is, unsurprisingly, rather Oedipal in nature; the speaker covets not his own mother, but the mother of a friend (think this).  I would post the draft in its entirety (about two hours of work), but it even creeps me out.  Also, it's pretty rough in every sense of the word.  Here's an excerpt of a couple couplets:

how it would rust us but we shot tetanus
and hoops as well

after practice she held a saucer of béchamel
i prayed would chrism 

That shared, I do plan to put up the occasional poem in full.  Starting sometime soon.

So what's with the circa-1977 Brian Eno album art that opens the post?

Well, it's only to say that I was writing under the influence of Eno last night, specifically the one-two punch of "Julie With..." and "By This River" from Eno's Before and After Science LP.  Though I will concede that this is not the best of Eno's four non-ambient solo albums from the 1970s (tied with Here Come the Warm Jets for my least favorite as a whole), those two numbers have always haunted me.  I was looking for a darker, more melancholy tone in my own work and these songs served to put me in that place.  Thank you, Brian Eno.  Or perhaps blame you, Brian Eno.

On a procedural note, the situation in which I composed this poem is strange for two reasons.  First, I never listen to music with words (unless they are, um, chopped and/or screwed up in some way) while I'm writing.  I prefer the ambient works of artists such as Stars of the Lid, Ben Frost, Mountains, Loscil, Azeda Booth (some lyrics, not quite ambient I guess), Cinematic Orchestra, etc. so as not to crowd the headspace. Second, I tend to write in the late afternoon rather than the evening.  Yet here I am, breaking my own rules.  I think it's a good thing.  I think we should all vary our idiosyncratic strategies as much as possible to see what comes from the change, be it a stone-cold success or a failed experiment which is in itself a kind of triumph.


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